• A Guide For Buying Vintage Or Preloved Clothing Online

    More than once recently, I have come across someone that has said to me, they don't like to, or never have bought anything online... let alone Vintage or Preloved!,  simply for the fear of not getting it right.  So here are a few tips, that may help make it less of a big deal.


    Check the returns policy:
    Most vintage/pre-loved stores do not allow returns.  This is simply because we can not tell if you wore it to last nights girls night out... for all we know you wore it out, washed it and then asked to return it... not cool.
    Of course you are within your rights to ask to return an item if it is not what was described or is in unwearable condition.  However you will not be able to return a garment if its the wrong size... so read on...



    Know your size:
    This is actually what puts people off the most.  If you want to get online shopping right, then I would suggest taking 5 minutes right now to grab just four items of clothing to measure up.  Choose items that fit you well and you wear a lot.
    A top or t-shirt, dress, a pair of Jeans or pants, and a good fitting jacket

    Write the following measurements down on a post-it note and stick it to your computer!  - You only need to do this once!  
    Lie the item flat on the floor and measure up...


    Pic cred: Pinterest... Slightly different to what I am suggesting below but you get the idea.

    TOP/T-SHIRT
    - Bust, underarm to underarm:
    - Length, shoulder to hem:

    DRESS (can use bottom of dress measurements for a skirt)
    - Bust, underarm to underarm:
    - Waist, smallest part:
    - Hips, widest part:
    - Length, or a length you like:

    JEANS/PANTS
    - Waist, straight across the top:
    - Rise, from waist to crotch, (where all seams meet):
    - Length of inside leg:

    JACKET
    - Bust, underarm to underarm:
    - Waist, smallest part:
    - Across the top of the shoulders at the back:
    - Length, shoulder to hem:

    Once you have your measurements you will find sizing something up online an absolute breeze!   If a shirt measures 50 cm across and your bust measurement on your favourite shirt is 45 cm - win!  You know it will fit with a little room!

    Be aware that vintage sizing is quite different to New Zealand sizing today... a size 12 in 1950 was actually more like an 8, similar to USA sizing compared to ours... So checking measurements is an actual must.

    Have a look at the size chart for Walter Alice Store here

    Ask for measurements or more photos:
    If a seller doesn't list the measurements, or doesn't provide enough information for you to make a decision, just ask them, it's really not a problem, as it helps the seller get a sale, and also it is less likely to result in a problem for them if the garment doesn't fit you.
    As a seller, I love it when someone contacts me for more information, it gives me an opportunity to provide the best customer experience and more than often results in a great transaction for both of us.
    Make sure you ask what the condition is, and if there is any damage especially if it isn't already mentioned.

    Save your favourite sellers:
    If you purchase something on Trademe and it was a perfect fit, its quite likely they will list again, save them as a favourite seller and you will be notified when they put something else up for sale.   Also make sure you check their feedback!
    Walter Alice's Trademe Store link is here:  https://www.walteralice.com/collections/sale (just saying).

    Don't think about it too much:
    Chances are with Vintage, as it is probably a one off item it will sell while you are procrastinating.  If in doubt leave it out... If you can't live without splash out.

    Know your classics:
    Blazers, jeans, white shirts, pencil skirts... Things that don't really go out of fashion.
    If you are new to Vintage its a good idea to find something timeless or classic to begin with.  Maybe a cardi or a black dress, a blazer or a simple blouse.  Make it something you can wear on a weekly basis, not a special occasion item.

    Why buy Vintage instead of New?:
    Good quality Vintage can cost as much if not more than new clothing... This is due to the fact it is simply better made and is highly durable (it's lasted this long remember!).
    Also you will not see the same item on anyone at any event!

    Don't expect the item to look the same on you as it did on the model:
    This picture says it all, I do it, stylists do it, models too need to be pinned and tucked for an item to look good... just use the look books and pictures of the item on a model as ideas for styling... that's all.  Hopefully the website has pictures of the item simply hanging on  a hanger as well so you see it in a few different ways.


    Photo cred: Fashion Beans

    Get a prepaid debit card:
    If you don't like shopping online simply because you don't trust the "interweb" then you may not be aware that most online stores in New Zealand will allow you to pay by Internet Banking, no problem at all. 
    Or get yourself a prepaid prezzy card and top it up when you want to shop, this way you aren't using your actual credit card number.  
    This is a bit extreme though as getting an account with Paypal or paying by credit card on trustworthy sites is actually very safe.  And I would only be more cautious if your whole life savings is on your credit card account (silly silly silly)...
    This leads to the next thing...

    Only buy from trusted websites:
    Even Trademe has its risks as there are untrustworthy people out there (again - check the feedback), however buying from a local online store, like www.walteralice.com (of course) is the best way to go.  You can see they are authentic, they are local and you can even call them on a real phone number if there is a problem.  If there is no phone number I would look at other ways you can contact them to check tracking or to chase up if an item doesn't arrive.
    A good way to check out the store is to look at their facebook page and their customer interactions (or lack thereof), also check the reviews, this is a tell tale sign if a website is dodgy or not.
    You can always get your money back though if you have an account with Paypal - they are really good like that, especially if you get a bad deal.

    If you stick to my guide, you won't miss out on that sense of excitement that us preloved clothing online buyers get when a new parcel arrives (it seriously is like Christmas)... go on just try it!
    It will change your life!


    "Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping."
    Bo Derek


    Vintage Clothing Store, Online Only,
    Wellington NZ
    www.walteralice.com

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A Guide For Buying Vintage Or Preloved Clothing Online | Walter Alice Store ...